“There is an average of 26,700 winters’ deaths in England and Wales over the last ten years. Each winter, 1 older person dies needlessly every 7 minutes from the cold – that’s 200 deaths a day that could be prevented.” (Age UK)
This is an astounding figure and something that should concern us as Muslims. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Man is doomed and a loser if Allah does not put compassion for mankind in his heart.” (al-Silsilah al-Saheehah)
It is from values of Islam that we should have compassion and mercy for those within our community, especially those who are considered as vulnerable and in need.
Among those who fall into this category are the elderly within our communities; regardless of their colour, religion, gender, the elderly are at risk during the winter months.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) also said, “He is not one of us who does not show mercy to our young ones and respect our old ones.” (Tirmidhi) Therefore, it is incumbent upon us to show compassion towards the elderly as a sign of mercy in our heart and as a sign of caring for those in need.
With more budget cuts taking place every year, the plight of the elderly has sparked a renewed interest amongst many organisations and individuals across the UK.
Many have emphasised that the elderly are not receiving the respect and dignity they deserve.
This year IDC North East went to visit the Elderly to distribute free scarves, thermal socks, hats and gloves again.